New contact centre will help patients keep in touch with families
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NHS administrators and nurses will staff a new contact centre at Newham Hospital designed to help patients stay in touch with their families.
Hard-pressed doctors and ward staff have been receiving “high volumes” of calls from people worried about their loved ones or wanting condition checks because they are unable to visit during the pandemic.
The Family Contact Centre staff will give families updates on how their relatives are coping while visiting is restricted.
People can also pass messages via email or phone to loved ones on wards using the contact centre and staff will help patients make video calls home.
Victorial Turone, family liaison officer at Newham Hospital, said: “Due to the current restricted visiting restrictions we are receiving high volumes of concerns from families who are anxious about not being able to receive updates about their loved ones.
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“To meet this need, we set up the centre as a way to reassure families during this difficult time and to help keep the spirits of patients high.”
Today, Mayor Sadiq Khan declared a “major incident” in the capital as rising coronavirus cases threaten to overwhelm hospitals.
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More than 800 patients are being admitted to London hospitals with coronavirus every day.
Barts Health, London’s largest health trust which covers the City, Tower Hamlets and Newham, was caring for 831 patients with Covid-19 with almost 200 in intensive care yesterday.
Some 95 had been diagnosed with the virus in the previous 24 hours.
Mr Khan said: “The situation in London is now critical with the spread of the virus out of control.
“Our heroic doctors, nurses and NHS staff are doing an amazing job, but with cases rising so rapidly, our hospitals are at risk of being overwhelmed. The stark reality is that we will run out of beds for patients in the next couple of weeks unless the spread of the virus slows down drastically.
“We are declaring a major incident because the threat this virus poses to our city is at crisis point. If we do not take immediate action now, our NHS could be overwhelmed and more people will die.”
The Newham Hospital contact centre can be reached on 020 7363 9047 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.